14 People Poisoned By Wild Mushrooms In California

In the past few months 14 people have been severely poisoned after they accidentally ate wild mushrooms called "death caps," which grow in California and are extremely poisonous. Three people were poisoned so badly that they needed liver transplants, and one of the victims was an 18-month-old toddler whose mother got the mushrooms from a forager.


According to Yahoo News, there have been a particularly large number of death cap mushrooms around California this year because of heavy rains. In November, experts say they noticed unusually large numbers of death cap mushrooms around, and in December, the string of poisonings began. Since then, a toddler and 13 people between the ages of 19 and 93 were severely poisoned by the mushrooms.


The death cap mushroom is one of the most poisonous mushrooms in the world and kills more people than any other mushroom, but it looks like several edible varieties of mushroom, and it actually tastes good, so people can eat them happily with no idea anything is wrong.


The toddler victim was part of a family in Salinas, where a woman got the mushrooms from a forager and cooked them herself for five people. Everyone who ate the mushrooms became severely ill, and the toddler and the woman's sister-in-law were sickened so badly they needed liver transplants. Doctors say the 18-month-old will suffer "permanent neurological impairment" as a result of the poisoning.


"It was like a bus accident," a doctor at the hospital said of the whole family being rushed in for mushroom poisoning.


Death caps look just like edible mushrooms, so a person who is not an expert forager should never pick and eat a wild mushroom.